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as i said at the top, i really am sorry we've had to have this conversation for the hour. the fiscal cliff is a colossal waste of time, an economic storm of our own making, and washington is searching for little more than an umbrella to protect you from it. thanks for joining the conversation this week on "your money." we're going to stay on the story till it's done. normally, we're here every saturday at 1 p.m. and sunday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. i'm on daily at 3:30 p.m. but until this is done, you're going to see a lot of me. tweet me, my handle is @alivelshi. we'll see you through to the end
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of this. have a great weekend. hello, thanks for joining us, i'm martin savage at the cnn headquarters in atlanta. i'm in for fredricka whitfield. good to be with you. fiscal cliff talks, we are at a standstill, 32 hours before we reach the edge of this press cis miss. senate sfleshts taken the time out to speak after the butting heads on two key issue, one involving tax rates, the other social security. ali velshi is in new york, dana bash is live on capitol hill. we will start with you, dana. what has gotten lawmakers now not seeing eye to eye? >> reporter: actually, let me answer that by asking one of the members of the senate republican leadership, senator john thune, who just came out of the senate republican meet egg. senator, can you tell us where do things stand as far as republicans feel? >> well, look, republicans advanced a proposal last night. you heard senator mcconnell talk about that on the floor. we are still awaiting a counteroffer by the democrats.
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and there was an indication that we could have received that by 10:00 this morning. we have yet to receive it. but there are discussions that continue. senator mcconnell and vice president biden are continuing to discuss this and we think there perhaps still could be a path forward. the one thing that is a, you know, democrats come out and made a big deal out of chained cpi, republicans are very concerned that if that not be used as an offset to reduce or to replace some of the spending cuts that you would occur in the sequester, that democrats put forward an alternative and so this is a process. obviously, there's a lot of give and take going on now, but republicans don't want to see new revenues, in other words, democrat tax increases, be used for new spending. so that's sort of where many of our members have drawn the line now. >> that is where it times to be one of the big road blocks are right now, democrats -- you-all want to use what's known as chained cpi, which is a
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technical -- i won't get into it now but would effectively really affect social security recipients to replace the sequester, which is $100 billion in cuts and democrats want to use new revenue from tax increases to replace the sequester. is that where you see it? >> yeah, there are other issues involved but that's certainly one example of one where -- frankly, chained cpi, us to is not just about replace the sequester today it is putting in place a policy that will help save and protect social security in the long term. but that being said, if democrats don't accept that as an offset, then come up with something else because raising taxes to pay for new spending is not going that republicans believe this debate ought to be about. it ought to be about reducing the deficit and the debt and what they are essentially suggesting is we want new taxes, we want higher taxes on people in this country to pay for new spending. >> senator, senator mcconnell has spoken a couple times with
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the vpz. we have seen in the past that the two of them have been able to come up with bipartisan deals to get through congress on taxes and other things. did he give you an indication in the meeting you just had with rank and file republicans that might be an avenue of success? >> there -- those conversations and discussions continue. and we remain hopeful that that will get a breakthrough. on veryiously, what had happened here between the two leaders in the senate had broken down because the senate democrats failed to come forward with a counteroffer to the proposal republicans made last night. so hopefully, the discussions between the vice president and senator mcconnell will get us back on track, hopefully get a breakthrough and something we can vote on, hopefully today or tomorrow that will avert what we believe will be an economic disaster. >> one last question, harry reid said if you can't put something by tonight, he will put a scaled down version of what the president has asked for with regard to tax cuts on the senate planned for of course that is
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raising taxes on everybody making above $250,000 a year. do you think, knowing your republican colleagues, that enough republicans will cross over the democratic side and allow that to pass, if -- even if it's 60 votes needed? >> you know, it's hard to say until we know exactly what might be in it. this -- this is what i would say about that. if that's where we end up and if he decides to move a bill onto the floor and maybe could pick up the house passed extension of all the rates, hr-8, as a vehicle for that he ought to open it up to the amendment process, give us an opportunity to debate some of these things that we think ought to be a part of t what he will more than likely do, if history is any guide in this, is take a bill and felt amendment tree and prevent republicans from having an opportunity to offer amendments. think we would welcome an opportunity to have a debate on the floor of the united states senate that the american people could be part of. >> there you have it, martin, from a member of the senate
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republican leadership, literally walking out of a meeting with all senate republicans getting a briefing from the senate republican leader, mitch mcconnell. to me, what is most interesting there is the fact that it seems to be that this opening of dialogue between mitch mcconnell and the vice president, who have a good relationship, very good working relationship, trust each other have done deals before. the fact that he sees hope there is interesting. there's not a lot of hope right now going on here but the fact that he said that is noteworthy. i should also tell that you we told you earlier that we expect harry reid to come out to the microphones. i was just told that is not going to happen, should not exact him to come and talk us to after his meeting, which is going on behind those doors right now with democrats. >> dana bash, great to have that insight from the republican side of things. we will hear from the democrats later. bring in ali velshi, we want the financial perspective on all of this won't be long before the markets are open and reacting
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and i guess that's maybe where rill begin ali, i know only a half day of trading. it is going to be a full day of trading tomorrow but the last day of trading of the year so the problem is, a lot of people just don't want to be involved in a market where they don't know which way things are going, which is why you saw, martin, you saw on friday, some selling on the market a lot of people just didn't -- rather be in cash or something a little more nimble not knowing what's going to happen. you know, just listening to the conversation with dana and john thune it is fascinating to me because the sophistication of the discussion that they are having about these financial matters is very interesting. you may really hate the concept of chanined cpi, martin. some people do a lot of tweets about that today. cpi, inflation is how they increase and decrease benefits, like social security, in the united states. >> talking about the consumer price index? >> the consumer price index. correct. what the republicans suggested instead of this basket of goods
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that the cpi or inflation is faced on, when they go up, you increase the checks by that amount, they say do what normal people would do when the price of beef goes up, people may change to chicken, one example that's been used so, in fact, change the basket a little bit. the net effect would be probably smaller increases to social security over time, why it would be a saving to the government. whether you like that or not it is actually not a terrible idea even though i'm going to get another bunch of tweets from people who said it is not terrible, may not be ideal. why are we having this conversation with a day and a half to go? 500-some-odd days ago they came one this concept of a sequester. they knew the fiscal cliff was coming. 12 years' notice we had these bush tax cuts were going to expire. these kind of discussions require air they require time they require debate and we are now having them. when john thune says he hopes that senator reid brings a bill to the floor and it is open to discussion and amendment, not today. not today. it's too late for that. make a deal and stop markets
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from going over the edge, stop this economy from going over the edge. they will ruin a good economy, martin this is ridiculous, irresponsible, disgusting behavior. >> you don't want to hear this kind of detailed conversation going on now? >> no. no. >> you want to get a deal done? >> forget t no more details. no more details. you had 550 dies come one details. today is not the day. today's only job is to come up with a deal that ainvestigators going over the fiscal cliff and anything other than that is absolute irresponsibility you congressional malpractice. >> any deal? in other words, say some sort of temporary fix or have to be that long-term overhaul? >> i don't think -- at this point, beggers can't be choosers. i don't think we are going to get a grand bargain. i don't think we are going to get a big deal with long-term stuff a lot of people object to that, they will call that kicking the can down the road, you know what martin, they are absolutely right. once again, we will kick the can down the road, but that's what happens, when you back yourself into a corner, we did this with
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the debt ceiling, we did this with the government shutdown, the way we do business now, we should get used to it, that's how things are done t is the 11th hour we need an 11th hour deal. 11th hour deals are never particularly good. everybody is going to give something up. i just hope they all prepare to give something up and get a deal. it is not going to be pretty. i will be here the whole time, i will be here monday morning to see what markets do >> real quick before you go, let me ask you this the average american, for most of us, just a political exercise where you, will we feel it first, if, in fact, we go over the fiscal cliff? >> the first place you will feel it yourself is in your first paycheck that gets -- and it is unclear how the first paycheck is going to feel, probably the end of january, but really, sentiment and confidence are more important. the market may respond in a particular way, there may be companies who know if that sequester hits that they are not going to have government contracts to they will issue layoffs, we will get the rules from holiday shopping that are going to be weaker than we expected them to be, bigger layoffs in january, you see layoffs in january anyway, you
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will see more than normal, so you will feel it in the atmosphere before you feel it in your paycheck. we are in a good place, this economy has been ticking along, some economic growth, job creation more than 30 months, it is actually not that bad out there, it is going to start to feel worse if we don't get a deal. >> all right, alley vel shirk the last thing we need is to feel worse for the economy. thank you very much. >> all right, martin. taxes may go up, as you heard, government spending slashed, if lawmakers cannot strike some kind of fiscal cliff deal. but a former assistant secretary of defense says he can help with a way to cut almost $100 billion from the defense budget. he will be here to explain. hey, look! a shooting star!
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this whole fiscal cliff mess shows how incredibly out of touch your the way people really live in this country. you are off in la la land and everyone is saying how you're acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who are more interested in being right than in doing the right thing and actually representing the people who elected you. >> my new year's message to washington is this, there are not enough wealthy people or corporations to keep you in office. in that light, please simply grow up, govern, but most importantly, support middle class policies. >> americans, as you can see, are clearly very frustrated with lawmakers. at this moment, there are no deal yet to be reported when it comes to trying to keep your taxes from going up. government spending for things like education, research and investments in infrastructure will also take a big hit. but my next guest says that our defense department is in a much better position to endure a hit
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like that. lawren lawrence korb joins me in washington. he's former assistant secretary of defense. doctor, thanks for being with us. >> nice to be with you. >> you say the defense department can afford budget cuts but many are going to worry this is going to somehow undermine our national security. what do you say? >> i have to say compared to where we were, we are talking about the base birnlgt the war budget is funded separately, talking about where we were on 9/11 and where we are now the defense budget has almost doubled so we can easily absorb the cuts and the cuts we propose, $100 billion over the next decade you will bring you back to where you were in real terms in 2010, which is higher than what we spent on average in the cold war and even higher than at the peak of the raegen buildup, an administration i was privileged to serve in. >> in the article i read, you laid out four points, how to
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cut, as you say you $100 billion from the defense budget. what do you cut? how do you reach that number? >> you start with nuclear weapons. we now have 1700. you can bring it back down to close to 1,000. this over the next ten years. the air war college say wes don't need more than 311. general cartwright, the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says 800, bring it back to 1,000 you can look at the new fighter plane he is. the navy shouldn't buy the f-35 joint strike fight, they really don't want them, they are very expensive, for half the price, they can bite super hornet, fa-18 es and fs, they can buy those. bring your ground forces where they were before we were in iraq and afghanistan. we are not going -- secretary gates says anybody who recommends sending large number of land forces into muslim country ought to have, you know, his head examined. finally, you can take a look at the health care benefits for military retirees.
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about a decade ago, we said, you know, if you go in, you go into medicare, we will pay for everything else there's no co-pays, there's no you know, splitting of the cost. what happens is they overuse it and the health care costs, again, to quote secretary gates and the department of defense, are eating us alive and these are retired people, not for people still on active duty. >> dr. korb, i'm going to have you hang on there we have other breaking news coming, stay right there, there is more i want to ask. dana bash is now back with us on capitol hill with more. dana what do you have? >> reporter: i have another republican senator who came out of that meeting with mitch mcconnell, senator bob corker of tennessee. thank you very much k you just give us a sense of the feeling that you got in that behind close doors meeting that just ended from your leader? >> sure. well, he did receive a call -- he had a call with vice president biden and so there are conversations. >> he received a call while the
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meeting was happening, didn't he? >> that is correct. i think he felt like, you know, the call was productive. i think progress is being made. and chained cpi, i want to make everyone, it is not part of the equation as far that is year's discussion goes. it is not dish know senator reid said some things on the floor but a but all of us understand that things like entitlement reform are going to be debt with unfortunately during the debt controlling debait. i think what shocked everybody in our caucus, truly, is that the president has campaigned this entire year on raising taxes on the wealthy, which we all understand is going to happen. i mean it is going to happen today, tomorrow or in the next couple of weeks but their proposal to us right now is they are spending 100% of that money. let me say that one more time. the president campaigned this entire year on taxing the wealthy to reduce deficits in our country.
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and what they are proposing to us right now is that they spend 100% of that money. >> so just to be clear for our viewers, what the president and what the democrats have proposed in this back and forth negotiation is to take the money raised from tax increases and instead putting it to -- instead of putting it toward deficit reduction, cancel out the so-called sequester, which are spending cut you. >> that's correct. the sequester was put in place during the last debt ceiling debate i 60% of the $2.1 trillion that we had in deficit reduction and what the democrats are proposing is instead of that sequester happening, i mean this is money in the bank for people who care about the solvency of our nation, they want to spend revenues on doing away with sequester. now, there are better ways of doing cost reduction and sequester but they need to be dealt with other cost reductions. but it's just beyond belief to me that the president would have
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made such a big point out of taxing the wealthy, which we all know is going to occur but to use every bit of that right now and you spend it so that money is gone and we are continuing with these huge deficits that our nation faces. >> i want to go back to something else you said a couple of minutes ago because that seems to be news and we are hearing from some of your republican colleagues as well. a big part of what we were told is the deadlock right now is that democrats were just totally taken aback by the fact that republicans offered in this package what we called chained cpi, which for people thought just should know in real terms, would affect social security recipients and democrats said un-unh. so, what you're saying is what was decided in this meeting among rank and file republicans, you are just going to take this off the table? >> decided way before and i don't think that leader mcconnell, even though the president has support chained cpi, he did so this morning on "meet the press," i don't think next expected them to ever take it up, so it wasn't something that was -- that was serious.
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what i think would be helpful, you know, the president has talked this morning again on david gregory about the $1 trillion in cost reductions that he offered speaker boehner over the last couple of weeks. none of y'all have ever asked him to my knowledge, for a list of specifics but maybe if he would give us those specifics now, we could use those as part of these negotiations. i've never seen those. i don't think they really exist. as a matter of fact, i'm pretty sure they don't exist. but so we are in a situation though -- this is all high drama, i realize. i think that leader mcconnell is having a pretty fruitful conversation with vice president biden and hopefully over the course of the next short period of time, will come up with a resolution that's different than taxing the wealthy to spend all the money right now. if we can do that maybe something goodwill co will come t another way to do this would bring a bill up on the floor and begin debating t that is what we are hired to do and be a much
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better process -- >> with rrngts i know you agree with me, you guys are hired to do a lot of things not done around here. i know you agree. >> i will agree. i have offered a bill to deal with this and -- >> good to get that for the record. thank you, senator, appreciate it. martin, back to you. that was noteworthy, again, i think for a couple of reasons, one, he confirmed what several republican senators are saying, what we have been talking about for the past, i don't know, three or four hours that democrats say caused the current impasse, chained cpi, republicans are saying, fine, we are taking itted off the table, which as we talked about, might have been a major reason tactically why democrats made it public and told us about it, snuff the republicans out. but talks that the hour seem to be shifting from the republican leader around the democratic leader to the republican leader mitch mcconnell and the vice president who have got things done before. the fact he got a call even while republicans were meeting certainly is telling, probably the third time at least they talk today. >> does sound like they are reaching out to their own
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constituents to say when we reach this deal, this is what we have gotten out of t see how it plays out, thanks very much, dana bash. the meantime, we will be back and talk to larry korb once more in just a moment about those defense cuts. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. now through january 2nd, no monthly payments until spring for qualified buyers. get the silverado for 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese.
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i'm back again with dr. larry korb, thank you for standing by through, a former assistant secretary of defense. talking about $100 billion worth of cuts and you outlined what are cuts to big-ticket items two quick things on that, number one, those programs, one was a nuclear program, the other was talking about the sophisticated jet fighter, those are jobs. those are important to people in
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the sense that, yeah, they are dramatic cuts that you can make and programs perhaps the defense department can get by without but they are a lot of jobs. does that come into the consideration here? >> if you look at the nuclear that is no jobs at all. these are weapons that you have that we are maintaining into the question of new ones. with the f-35, obviously, people looking for lock lead in the long term would be affected but still selling them to the air force. people working for boeing would have more jobs. not really going to have any impact on johns. the key thing is when you're talking about government spending, the least efficient way to create jobs is defense spending. any other, education, health, even tax cuts create more jobs than spending on defense. >> what about number of people in uniform, do you cut that back and if so, how much? >> well, again, what we are talking -- they have already begun to cut it back from the 2005/2006 level but not bringing it back to where you were on --
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prior to our invasion of irrauk and afghanistan. we are saying take it back there. that's another 17,000. that's not that great a cut. >> and as far as boots on the ground, for future conflicts, i think we see them more as low-level conflicts but special forces, the things like that, do you think that this reduced footprint of the number of troops would fit into this kind of ideology? >> well, yes, it is, because we switch from counterinsurgency and nation building to counterterrorism and basically you do you use special forces. we have advocated a special forces budget go up that is comparatively small, only about $11 billion. rely more on unmanned planes than manned planes so called drones. yeah, you can actually be more effective. this is the direction that the country is moving. >> do you think that say the generals agree with you? >> well, i think the generals, obviously, they are never satisfied no what tno matter ho
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you spend on defense. you could spend the whole budget and can't guarantee no risk. the good thing about cutting defense, you will make them manage better. what happened in the last decade, we had undprentsed cost overruns in our major weapons systems, something like $3 to $400 billion. we spent $50 billion in the last decade own weapons that we canceled. so i think this will make them manage a little better. >> before i let you go i want to ask you about chuck hagel, being talked about as the next secretary of defense. you work with him and i'm wondering what do you think about him as being in that job? >> oh, i have never seen a person more qualified than chuck. i mean, i have known every secretary going back to mcnamara. he has not only been elected to the senate, he has had executive appointments, people forget he was the number two at the veterans administration in the reagan years when i was there. the other is he has shown battlefield cure rams you know, he has won the purple heart. he is also shown bureaucratic courage because he resigned from
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theed very veterans administration as a comparatively young man when the head of the veterans administration was saying agent orange is sort of like acting. what an insult to the people who served. so he stepped aside. he is the head of the president's foreign intelligence advisory board and more important, defense -- running defense a big management job. he has been very successful in the private sector. >> it is indeed. dr. larry korb, worth the wait, thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. up next, more on the fiscal cliff, lawmakers have hit a major snag in the negotiations and we are just two days before the deadline. [ female announcer ] want younger looking eyes that say wow with olay, here's how. new regenerist eye and lash duo the cream smooths the look of lids... softens the look of lines. the serum instantly thickens the look of lashes.
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we are following breaking developments on a story that affects about every single american, the fiscal cliff. we reach that cliff you can the brink in just two days. about two hours ago, negotiators hit two major snags, one over social security and the other over tax hikes, who should get them. bring in contributor nor "newsweek" and the daily beast and cnn contributor, john avlon, for his opinion on what is happening in washington. how significant is it that we are a half a day or day and a half, i guess, away from this cliff and there's no agreement? >> it's hugely significant. the countdown is on. the clock is ticking, literally, to the fiscal cliff. and as others have noted today, we have known about this cliff for 500 days. this is the world's most anticipatable political and economic problem. congress set this time bomb, now they are scrambling to defuse it before it goes off and threatens to take our economic recovery as a country and kick us back into recession. the fact this is happening in
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last-minute negotiations and great knew as dana bash reported that joe biden and mitch mcconnell seem to be backchanneling and got a constructive relationship in the past, this is great but this is all being done piecemeal and that fact shouldn't give anybody a great deal of confidence it is pathetic we are here at this hour facing the fiscal cliff. >> that's the point i wanted to raise with you. you obviously have followed congress. you know how all this inside trading works, so to speak. does it feel like the wheels are coming off that we are now off the script, that this is totally in territory we had not anticipated we would be at? >> absolutely. let's help folks appreciate how we got here. this suspect just about philosophical or ideological divisions, this is a crisis of self-government now, had divided government before but never quite this dysfunctional it is because of polarization, about reduction of swing districts, it's about the impact of partisan media creating thises against them mentality you told
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all during 2012, martin, the election was too contentious a time to get anything done for the american people, we would wait until the lame duck session of congress, wait until the election and legislators would be liberate and free to work across ate yell and solve these serious problems. the lame duck session has been here for weeks now and you nothing has the gotten down. 36 hours away from the end of the year and they are still scrambling on capitol hill to get an agreement, forget a grand bargain for deficit and debt. we are looking for a patch to live to fight another day and i not have all americans' taxes raised automatically in 36 hours, not-to-day say nothing of insurance evaporating. >> all the conversations with members of congress, seem to end with, well, it looks like we may have something there is always that optimistic ending. what i'm wondering, is it really that we are all fooling ourselves? that we somehow believe they have worked this out in the past it has never happened before, we will get this done, maybe this is that time we won't.
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do you actually start to think that we could be headed right over that cliff? >> absolutely this is try you why. of hope over experience here. every time we had the super committee on, finding reason so the sequestration cuts wouldn't occur, they have failed. what we are doing suing for peace, trying to come up to kick the can to another day. even if we come up with this patch, martin, as you heard senator bob corker say the tough questions of entitlement reform and tax reform, those are going to end up kicking in in february when the debt ceiling occurs, we need to face the fact which could very well go over the cliff but this is becoming a predictable problem that has roots in something profound. our basic capacity to self-could have verne is starting to be diminished by the polarization in congress and it should frustrate americans, great
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ireports, people deal with different people with different opinions every day, they find a way to work together and solve problems. how come that attitude is totally absent in washington? >> i think one of the great -- certainly the greatest things of americans is the ability to compromise. you seem to be implying here that all of democracy is threatened by this. >>? a crisis of self-government. we have had divided government that's worked beautifully before. we have got the marshall brandon, the highway system, civil rights bills in the 1960s, lbj as president, dirkson in the senate. we have done this before, all the accomplishments of the reagan era this disfunction is something new, the result of the polarization, party he is being more polarized than ever before, the increased power of the professional partisan activist class, actively arguing on other side to not make a deal saying a bad deal is worse than no deal, go over the cliff. these voices have real influence right now and you they are causing economic calamity to our country. they are making us look foolish. they are making us look unable
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to self-govern in a constructive way, let alone serve -- solve long-term problems, which is what we elect them for. people should be furious that we are here 36 hours with no deal on the fiscal cliff. >> i have no doubt they are. john avlon, thanks very much, as always, for the insight. thank you. a fiscal fight. it is happening right now on capitol hill. and the deadline is just 32 hours away. we will bring are you the latest on the major sticking points. and we will talk live to congressman eliot engel. like a lot of things, trying to find a better job can be frustrating. so at university of phoenix we're working with a growing list of almost two thousand corporate partners - companies like microsoft, american red cross and adobe - to create options for you. not only that, we're using what we learn from these partners thank you. m, o wh you find the jt you'll be a perfect fit. let's get to work.
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congress is talking fiscal cliff today, although the senate convened earlier this afternoon there is no deal in sight as yet. elliott engle is a democratic congressman from new york and he joins me live now from washington. thank you very much for being with us, representative. >> thank you, my pleasure. >> so from your perspective, why are the talks at a stand still now at this crucial time with literally hours left? >> well, of course, john boehner, the speaker, has said that he wants the senate to work out a deal and that if they work one out, they will send it to the house and we will deal with it then. so, they are busy working it out.
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you have negotiations at the last minute i zrnt have to be this way, shouldn't be this way, anything possible, i think we will pull it out. >> why do you think that? what gives you any level of optimism, given not just today but this problem has been around for a year and a half, if not longer and nothing's been done. >> well, i've been around this place now for 24 years and the general dynamics, i think, we for some reason wait until the last minute for many of these important things and then we are forced to negotiate in good faith. i'm actually disgusted with it, because i think we should have had this a long time ago. i think the senate will come one an agreement and send it over to the house and the question is going to be will john boehner get his republican caucus to go along with him? >> they say it is not just about
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taxes here, we have to talk about specific cuts that you have to be made, it is, after all, about deficit reduction. their point is they don't believe enough is being cut as opposed to taxes just raised. >> i think in order to get our fiscal house in order, we have to both cut spending and raise taxes. the fact of the matter is the republicans wouldn't even listen to any kind of raising taxes, even on the super rich. again, boehner couldn't get it through his caucus at $1 million a year last week. so i think what we need to do ultimately, not going to happen now because there's no time to have a grand deal but ultimately, we have to have a grand deal where we have to cut spending and increase taxes and we have to do that to put our country down the fiscal path of responsibility. now, the question though, it becomes a political question in the house, because john boehner has not wanted to pass it with democratic votes. there have been, just last year, there have been instances, where
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a majority of republicans, but not enough to make a majority are joining with -- >> let me just interrupt you -- >> -- to make a majority. >> let me ask you this point, this is more to the philosophy of democracy here. do you see that we have an inability as congress to reach some sort of compromise? in other words, that we are watching the decay of democracy here in our inability to do anything or accomplish anything, especially when it comes to the fiscal cliff. are you worried about the future and politics? >> i'm worried, of course i'm worried, understand for the long-term good of the country, we have to meet in the sensible center, we have to do this and we haven't been able to do it. as a democrat, i have my feelings that the tea party ultraright-wing republicans are the ones resisting, making any kind of compromise, saying my way or height way.
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>> to lay blame here, i'm just asking for your -- >> i'm telling you what my perception is here. and i think that nobody can say my way or the highway. we have to come together. i think what we will do is we will pass a minimalist bill so that we won't go over the cliff and then i think we have to go from there. we have the debt ceiling to deal with, when we talk about the debt ceiling, we have to have negotiations with the president who i think is doing a fine job, by the way, and we have to sit down and work out out a grand plan, we cut spending and raise tax and balance our budget once and for all. we cannot keep doing this indefinitely. it's terrible forth country and the voters fed up and they are right. we have to meet in the middle and we have to compromise. >> i hope you're absolutely right. thank you, congressman, very much, for joining us today. >> thank you. there's no shortage of opinions, as you already know, about the fiscal cliff. and we will talk with a congressman whose words carry a
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little extra weight because he sits on the budget committee. stay here. these new phones they got us are great. yeah, its the galaxy note ii. you can do two things at the same time. you can watch videos and text. or you could watch the earnings report and take notes, like we're supposed to. so... can i get it? yeah. okay either of you put together the earnings report yet? yes, me totally. what? why don't you tackle the next quarter. you eat yet? polynesian? pu pu platter? yup! keep up the good work. i will keep up the good work. do more with the new samsung galaxy note ii. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro.
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representative tom cole of oklahoma sits on the budget committee, dealing with the cup's money problems all year, but now, we are down to those critical hours. he joins me from washington to
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offer his perspective near this crucial dialogue. so simply put, do you think we are going to get a deal in time, congressman? >> i do. i think the nature of these things is you get down to the last minute, into the very good way to run a railroad but the way this railroad does run. >> this particular railroad seems to have an air of desperation about it as we get down to it. >> people are concerned, and they ought to be. we are talking about every american's tax rates who pays taxes, talking about the extension of unemployment, the estate tax this has more elements in it than most things do i think at the end of the day, you know, in the senate now, i think the senate will come to some sort of arrangement, they will push it over here and then i think the house will be the decisive arena, a lot will depend, obviously, on what the senate agrees to >> isn't that the question what will happen in the house? i don't think we have a concern, maybe i shouldn't stay quite that way, the house seems to be the clear focus on whether or not republicans can muster the
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votes needed. what is going to happen? >> a lot depends on the nature of the agree weren't, remember on the speakers a plan b, he had over 200 republican votes are, it is not as if he doesn't have an awfully strong hand to play. if it's a deal that john boehner can accept, then frankly, i think it will be passed in a bipartisan manner with a very strong majority. if, on the other hand, he is either neutral or not favorable, then his chances are going to be a lot slimmer. so he is still very much part of the negotiation and obviously, our people want to fix the tax issue but they want to move on to the things that really count and that's spending restraint and entitlement reform. >> i don't want to get too deep into the weed bus what's the deal tom cole can accept? >> i can accept a deal that makes most tax cuts permanent for as many of the american people as possible. i don't want them to go up on anybody. rnlg what is th--
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>> what is that, 400,000, 250,000? >> i think the main problem is the president's inability to deal seriously with spending and entitlement reform. there isn't enough revenue in this package to fix the fiscal problems for the country. we are going to be entrenched in hand-to-hand warfare beginning in january with the continuing res lurks the debt ceiling and the southwester to try to deal with spending issues. again, that's what my friends on the democratic side have a hard time confronting. >> you don't see this as dodge the fiscal cliff? you have a long fight there? >> no matter what your perspective is this isn't enough revenue, but probably the last tax revenue available to the president. then is going to have to be cuts and reforms and again, so far, we haven't seen much from our democratic colleagues on that we have got some idea, put them on
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the table in the ryan budget, but they will have to get serious about cutting spending. >> today or tomorrow on this deal? >> more likely tomorrow, closer to the last minute we get the more likely it s >> all right. we will see. we won't hold to you it, but we will see. congressman, thank you very much. tom cole from oklahoma. >> thank you. and we are hearing from you about the fiscal cliff and sharing your messages right here for congress and the country to hear. our josh levs up next with those. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit today.
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we have been listening to members of congress when talking about the fiscal cliff, i enjoyed more hearing from you can the people, because after all that's what democracy is all b josh levels is back now with more of your messages for especially those in washington. >> yeah, i mean, look this is part of what's inspired people in washington to actually do something, is the mounting frustration in addition to the fiscal concerns, the mounting frustration all over the country, as people say is congress going to actually do something now or not? everyone is in the spotlight there a lot of people are weighing in via ireport. take a look at this one that came in. >> my new year's message to washington is to grow up, act like adult, do your jobs or resign immediately. we are tired of your being useless and refusing to do your jobs. >> vernon hill there weighing in. i tell you, some people are getting in touch about various
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fiscal concerns they have about the way the economy works in general and they want to see some of that tackled now. look tank a look at one that came in today. >> we keep on talking about having to make the tough decisions to cut spending on domestic program on health care, unemployment, education, social security, yet continue to spend billions of dollars every year in foreign aid for similar programs in other countries. does this make sense to you? >> now, i tell you, some people on the other side say the united states doesn't actually spend enough on foreign aid, we should spend a larger percentage of gdp that battle continues. what we are seeing is more and more people right now as congress looks that the fiscal cliff, talking about the things that concerns them. i want to tell you, some things watching right now who think the country should goefrt fiscal cliff, a quote i got there on facebook, talking about this, this one says let's go over it. it is long overdue and we need several more just like t some politicians see it as the easiest way of implementing long overdue cuts without endless
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congressional squabbles from adam chance campbell wrote on my facebook page. y'all will like the next one, look that the quote from jeff clark, what the mayans couldn't do in thousands of years both houses of congress are doing. let me tell everybody, the world will not end if we go over the fiscal cliff. i don't want you to feel that watch doesn't mean there aren't serious concerns for a lot of people involved. a couple more here from facebook this one says they need a reality check in how the 98% really lives. that's from felicia persaud on facebook. one more here the people express third desire for ending the bush tax cuts and ending these last-minute confrontations in congress. this debate is continuing. martin, i will tell you, we are getting a lot of messages across all platforms, tweeting with you-all at joshlevscnn, also facebook joshlevscnn. send us an ireport, video if you want to, we might share some of this right here, one way of getting your message out to the country and to lawmakers in these final hours before the end
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of the year, which could bring with it some big, big, big financial changes for all of us. >> absolutely, josh, hope the folks in washington are listening and watching. thank you. >> thank you. deadline for that fiscal cliff, well, we have said it, 32 hours. we will bring you the latest on its major sticking points. ♪ [ woman ] ♪ what i want this season ♪ if you'd like to try and guess ♪ ♪ it is something very special ♪ i would readily confess [ dogs barking ] ♪ 'cause all i want this season ♪ ♪ is something from your heart ♪ la da da, la da da [ male announcer ] thinking of others this holiday season, travelers.
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